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Little Things Do Make a
by Roger Carr
Think back over your life. Think about the people that had a positive
influence on you. If your past was like mine, many of them
realize the impact they made. The influence was usually due to them
caring about you and doing some little thing. What little things have
been done for you that changed your life? What little things have you
done for someone else that might have changed theirs?
I have been influenced by
little things done by others.
I had a boss that asked whether I had the guts to take a job he felt I
could do. It was a job I wasn’t even qualified to apply for.
question influenced me to set my career goals at a higher level and
faster pace than they were at that time.
When I attended my first Toastmasters meeting the group made me feel
welcome from the moment I set foot in the room. One person made it a
point to introduce me to several members before the first meeting
started. Another leaned over to me on my second visit, just before my
first speech, to let me know what to expect and to let me know I would
do great. I am grateful to both of them.
Children can influence us as well. A great example of this happened to
me at a Cub Scout summer camp here in my hometown of Fredericksburg,
Virginia. For those of you who are not familiar with Cub Scouts, the
boys range from 1st through 5th grade. I showed up on the morning of
the first day of camp just to make sure everything went smooth for our
group. We got everyone registered for the week’s events, set
canopy where the scouts and leaders could get under some shade for
lunch and then headed to the flagpole. At the flagpole, all of the camp
participants said the Pledge of Allegiance and then the camp leader
started to give instructions. In the middle of the instructions, one of
the 1st grade boys tugged on my pant leg. When I looked down at him, he
had the biggest smile on his face. He said, "Mr. Carr, I’m
a really good time" and he meant it! They hadn’t even started
their first camp activity yet. At that moment, I knew all of the hours
I put in as a scout leader were well worth it.
I have found that we can
influence others by doing little things for them.
You can influence others by providing help when it is needed. When I
say provide help, I am not just talking about offering to help. Most
people will not take you up on an offer even if they desperately need
it. I remember taking food to a couple that was sick. This was not
anyone I knew. It was a friend of someone that was in my Sunday school
class. Two years later they saw me, thanked me and told me how much
that meant to them. They even remembered my name after two years!
Another way I have helped was to provide advice to coworkers that now
refer to me as their mentor. Also, to help families pack up a truck to
move. Some of these families are friends of ours today even though they
live several states away.
Another way I have found that you can influence others is by saying
"thank you." I don’t think I ever realized the power of
thank you until a few months ago. I was at a professional symposium in
Northern Virginia. I was one of the symposium leaders. During a lunch
break, I stayed in the room where one of the classes was being given to
watch all of the personal belongings of the students while they were at
lunch. During the break, three of the hotel workers came into the room
to fill water pitchers and put out clean glasses. One of the workers
was obviously a mentally challenged person that was hired to help. His
job was to put the clean glasses on the tables. When he serviced the
table I was sitting at I said a simple "thank you." I will never forget
the look on his face. I could have told him he won the lottery and he
couldn’t have looked any more excited! Even after they left
room to go to the next, I could still hear him shouting as loud as he
could about the "nice man."
Writing notes is a third way you can potentially influence others. I
started writing thank you notes a couple of years ago (for reasons
other than receiving a gift). I have been thanked over and over for
some of these notes of appreciation and told I didn’t have to
that. I have recently learned and started using at times a new way of
writing notes. I learned it from Charlie "Tremendous" Jones who has
since encouraged me to pass this method along to others. Purchase some
inexpensive, inspirational books that have had a positive impact on
you. Write an encouraging note inside the cover of one of those books
and give it to the person. You will feel good doing it, reading the
book will change the person, and they will think of you every time they
read it. What a powerful gesture!
Start today doing little
things for others.
I can look back over my past and remember several moments in time that
God used someone doing a little thing that encouraged me. I have also
heard from others that have been influenced by me for doing the same.
There are many kinds of little things you can do to encourage others.
Some of these involve providing help when there is a need, saying thank
you, and writing notes. What are you going to do today for someone that
will make a difference in his or her life?
Roger Carr is the founder of Everyday Giving. His life purpose is to
help people help others. To learn more ways to give, sign up for the
free Everyday Giving ezine at http://www.everydaygiving.com.
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copyrighted by Roger Carr
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Everyday Giving. As the President of a national health agency local
chapter, Everyday Giving lifts me out of my traditional way of thinking
and reminds me there are many ways to contribute and be giving. It also
reminds me of the opportunities I have outside of my work to make a